City Council Information Regarding Upcoming Election for November 6th, 2018

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Issue 20 Levy Information

Issue 20 will be on the ballot for the general election, held November 6th. This issue is an EARNED INCOME TAX INCREASE in the amount of .25%. This means:

  • This is not a property tax increase.
  • Retirement income, social security, unemployment income and disability income are not affected by this proposed increase.
  • If you work in any of the following municipalities, your income tax rate is already at or above 2.5% and your income will not be affected by this proposed increase:
Bedford (3%) Parma Heights (3%) Euclid (2.85%)
North Randall (2.75%) Youngstown (2.75%) Warrensville Hts. (2.6%)
Akron (2.5%) Brooklyn (2.5%) Cleveland (2.5%)
Cuyahoga Hts. (2.5%) Highland Hills (2.5%) Maple Heights (2.5%)
Oakwood (2.5%) Parma (2.5%) Ravenna (2.5%)
Seven Hills (2.5%) University Hts. (2.5%) Walton Hills (2.5%)
Warren (2.5%) Woodmere (2.5%)
  • For those working in municipalities with income tax rates under 2.5%, your cost will be $125 per year per $50,000 of taxable income if the levy passes.

Revenue from this proposed increase will be earmarked specifically for the fire, police and service departments.

Council agreed not to renew a 1 mill fire levy – part of your property taxes – and instead plan to allocate $400,000 of the revenue from the proposed income tax increase to the fire department to cover the loss of this property tax revenue. As a result, homeowners will save about $30 per year per $100,000 of valuation on their property tax.

Other Ballot Issues – Charter Changes

Also on your ballot this November are four charter amendment issues. These charter changes were proposed early in 2018, and a Charter Review Commission convened to discuss the proposals and make recommendations to council. The commission consisted of Ryan Sweeney (chair), Cathy Loya (secretary), Shane Barker, Joseph Biber, Steve Donaldson Jr., Don Kuchta and council representative Jessica Brandt. The proposed charter amendments are as follows:

Issue 16“Shall Section 3.03 of the Charter of the City of Macedonia be amended to make the Mayor responsible for breaking tie-votes of Council?”

The commission had discussed a proposal to enlarge the city council from 5 to 6 members, but rejected that proposal. Adjacent to that proposal was another proposal that gave the mayor the ability to break a tie council vote, which would have been more necessary had the number of council members gone to 6. The commission did not recommend putting the above charter change on the ballot. However, on the very day council was voting on the resolution to include this tie-breaking item on the ballot, there were only 4 sitting members of council due to the loss of one member. Therefore, it seemed prudent to include this tie-breaking charter change on the ballot. It is quite unlikely that there will be a scenario that will require the mayor to break a tie council vote, as council is still made up of 5 members, but a charter change would extend that ability if needed.

Issue 17“Shall Section 4.13 the Charter of the City of Macedonia be amended to include an option for Council to suspend and take away or reduce pay from other members for misconduct upon a two-thirds vote of the remaining members?”

The commission discussed a proposal relating to giving “teeth” to a council censure. It was decided that the existing censure rules did not do much to change the negative behavior of a council member. After much discussion, the commission came up with its own proposal for changes, adding further penalties to the original proposal – including loss of pay and suspension. The commission reasoned that loss of pay might not be enough of a catalyst to change, but the possibility of temporarily losing one’s vote and one’s ability to speak from the dais might deter the need for censure. The commission hopes that having more harsh penalties for censure will keep council members from acting in a manner detrimental to the ability of council to do its work for the people of Macedonia.

Issue 18“Shall Section 10.01 of the Charter of the City of Macedonia be amended to change the composition of the Planning and Zoning Commission by appointing the Mayor or his/her designee as a member of the Commission, and allowing the Mayor to substitute for any member of the Commission who is absent from a meeting? “

As it was explained to the commission by then-mayor Migliorini, and confirmed by former mayor and commission member Don Kuchta, the initial contact between the city and developers almost always goes through the mayor. The mayor will often set guidelines for the developers, but final plans come down to the Planning and Zoning Commission. When the mayor is not involved with the final planning, the initial guidelines may not be met. By including the mayor as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the charter commission feels the mayor then has the ability to carry his/her guidelines and proposals through to the final stages of development. The Planning and Zoning Commission currently has 5 members, which essentially precludes a tie vote. As a condition of this charter change, the mayor will be a non-voting member but may cast a vote in the absence of one of the 5 voting members. The charter commission feels this arrangement is beneficial to the city in that it strengthens the role of the mayor as the city’s administrator.

Issue 19“Shall the Charter of the City of Macedonia be amended to remove the requirement for Council to confirm the appointment or removal of certain City employees, but allowing an appeal to Council for certain removed employees? “

Currently, the mayor makes appointments of department heads with the approval of council. The mayor becomes the supervisor of the department head and is responsible for his/her conduct. According to the current charter, the mayor must have approval of council to remove a department head. The charter commission considered this arrangement to be detrimental to the mayor’s ability to properly manage the city. Therefore, the commission proposed amending the charter so that council does not need to approve the removal of a department head – the mayor may make this determination on their own. To extend due process to department heads, the proposed amendment gives them the ability to appeal their termination before council if needed. This amendment does not remove the requirement for council to approve appointed department heads, nor does it remove council’s ability to independently call for the removal of a department head.

Furthermore, the amendments proposed in Issue 19 also remove the requirement for council to approve the appointment of non-department-head employees such as police, fire and service employees. This part of the amendment was proposed by council member Vini Ventura, who surveyed surrounding communities and found that most others do not require this sort of council approval. The charter commission agreed that appointments should solely be made by the mayor and department heads, who have already done their due diligence to vet the new hire. In the case of police and fire appointments, much of their qualification has already come via the civil service exam procedure.

If you have any questions about the proposed amendment, please don’t hesitate to contact the charter commission council representative Jessica Brandt at jbrandt@macedonia.oh.us or 216-626-5377. We also welcome residents to bring up questions and concerns during the public comments portion of each council meeting, on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 7:30.

election ready

REGISTER TO VOTE OR UPDATE YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION!!

There is a general election coming up on November 6 that will include several important issues for Macedonia residents. It is important that all eligible voters cast their ballot! According to Ohio voting laws, if you have not voted in two years and have not responded to mailings confirming your address, your registration data will be purged from records and you will need to re-register. You can register/update in person or online.

Online resources:

Register to vote in person:

  • Summit County Board of Elections (470 Grant St, Akron, OH 44311)
  • Bureau of Motor Vehicles (10333 Northfield Rd., Ste 156 Northfield, OH 44067)
  • Nordonia Library (9458 Olde 8 Rd, Northfield, OH 44067)
  • Twinsburg Library (10050 Ravenna Rd, Twinsburg, OH 44087)
  • Nordonia High School (for students)
  • Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (for students)
  • Summit County Treasurer (175 S. Main St., 3rd Floor Akron, OH 44308)
  • Offices of designated agencies, including:
    • The Department of Job and Family Services;
    • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program);
    • The Department of Mental Health;
    • The Department of Developmental Disabilities;
    • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; or
    • The office of any state-assisted college or university responsible for providing assistance to students with disabilities.

The deadline to register/renew your information for the November election is October 9, 2018. Don’t wait until it’s too late!!

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